Saturday, July 17, 2010

An Intent to Define Marriage

I was looking at my husband last the dark...right after we had fallen into bed.  For a moment, I felt a question forming on my lips, "How would you define marriage?" I wanted to ask.  I heard the immediate heavy breathing that finds him so quickly this time of year, and I stopped myself from asking.  It's not a time for those philosophical discussions; the ones I love so much and that can last into the wee hours of the morning.  It was a wee hour of the morning. He had been working, and I had been hanging out with him...actually I should say I was hanging out "by" him.  But I laid for a while pondering how I define marriage. I fell asleep too quickly to come up with a good definition.  But when I woke up this morning...I kept thinking about it.

A definition of marriage, according to Bing, is:   a legally recognized relationship, established by a civil or religious ceremony, between two people who intend to live together as sexual and domestic partners.

Marriage is a noun.  It is not something you do, it is a state of being.  I find it interesting that in the above definition, the word "intend" is used.  Brilliant.  It is a marriage as long as there is intent.  As soon as a member of the couple no longer intends to be a sexual partner or to shack up domestically, the marriage is beginning to break.  We intend to be sexual a point in time when our three kids are not sleeping soundly at the other end of our room, and we also intend to re-establish our relationship as domestic partners.  So I guess we are in a marriage, by random online definition standards.  

The word "married" does not further my understanding of what our relationship is.  According to Bing, married is an adjective and it means, having a spouse. Great.  So yes, I guess I have one of those.  I am indeed a married woman.

My personal definition is still formulating, and my desire for more time to hash it out with my spouse is still there.  I will ask him in the next few days what his definition of marriage is, and I'll report back about his response.  Maybe by then I'll have a definition that more fully explains what I think about it too.  For now, I'll just intend to be his partner.

1 comment:

  1. Marriage is when two consenting adults decide that they want to live the rest of their lives together and do so in a civil or religious ceremony the marriage should be recognize by the state no matter if you are Black, White, Gay, Straight, Young, Old. A religious institution though can define a marriage however they choose. But the state should not be allowed to discriminate about against marriage by defining it as many states have done


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